The final cost and delivery of a product is determined by its manufacturability. A product that is designed only for fit and function, without any thoughts to its future fabrication, can lead to disastrous results down the line.
During a recent survey by the Aberdeen Group, survey participants noted that eighty percent of a product’s budget is used in the first phases of development. After the process of product conception, testing, and prototyping, the path of a product is committed. Materials and tooling have been purchased and the assembly process is put in place. To make any modifications at this point will result in huge expenses. Following the Rule of 10, in each subsequent phase, the cost rises 10 times to fix any mistakes. As a result, the Best-in-Class follow these steps to optimize their products for manufacturability:
- Collaborate with manufacturing during the design process. Focus during the early phases of product design on its manufacturability. This process is simplified when collaborating closely with manufacturing from the early stages of development, all the way through prototyping and testing phases. For this reason, changes made initially are the easiest to adapt, and end up less costly than modifications during production. Sixty-eight percent of Best-in-Class companies collaborate with manufacturing during the design stages. (see Figure 5).
- Create a feedback loop. Continuous improvement of the design process is best achieved by feeding manufacturing data back into product lifecycle management (PLM) systems. PLM and manufacturing systems have traditionally been two very distinct segments in the development process. However, shorter project schedules have forced the combination of these two segments for a leaner manufacturing process. In closing the loop between PLM and manufacturing systems, the idea is to share insightful data to engineering, the factory floor, and to senior management. The resulting outcome is a streamlined product delivery cycle that eliminates redundant manual processes and waste. The Best-in-Class are 19% more likely to have manufacturing provide continuous feedback than All Others. They are 23% more likely to have data fed back into PLM systems than All Others.
- Document and enforce best practices. The easiest way to ensure design for manufacturability is to create guidelines and best practices that the entire design team can follow. Agreed upon best practices should be enforced to ensure the company is maximizing the benefits of a multiphysics simulation solution. Fifty percent of Best-in-Class companies give design engineers access to best practices for optimized manufacturability.
Without collaboration between design and manufacturing, errors, bottlenecks, and delays will occur making it harder to optimize for manufacturability. Tying the as-built plan into the design provides a platform in which design for manufacturing is a natural part of the workflow, making the process more streamlined, ultimately resulting in higher-quality products.
Read the full report for an in-depth look at maximizing product design in a complex manufacturing Environment.